Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The "New" Anti-Semitism

Someone sent me an article yesterday which is the inspiration for today's post. It purports to describe the new "anti-Semitism":
I put "anti-Semitism" in quotation marks because I believe it is a misnomer. The more accurate term is "anti-Jewism", which is the one I will use from this point forward. The article goes to great pains to explain this "new" phenomenon, and as I read it the question arose: What is new about it? For what I see, based upon my studies, is a repeat of the recurrent theme that has existed since (at least) the advent of Christianity.
When that religion emerged, with it came an attack on the Jews like no other. Christianity became the excuse for countless pogroms. In a moment, I will factor in the other influences that brought about the senseless slaughter of innumerable Jews, but first I will explain the religious foundation for the pervasive Jew-hatred of the past 2,000 years. The unavoidable indictment of the Jewish community, based upon Christian theology, is "The Jews killed the Messiah". Why Jews would kill the One for whom they await every year at Passover is beyond me, but the accusation is firmly entrenched in the mind of the Christian.
The psychology of anti-Jewism is as follows. The Jews flee from whatever entity has driven them from whatever home in which they resided at a given point in time. A new community allows them to settle in the new area, where they are tolerated by the current inhabitants. Tolerance is bigotry in disguise. Tolerance says, I m superior to you, but I will allow you to co-exist with me as long as you do not become a threat. That threat can take many forms, as history bears out, and underlying all of this is the knowledge that those evil Jews are Christ killers.
To their credit, Christians (especially in the early church) were overwhelmingly concerned with the souls of the Jews, and thus embarked on widespread campaigns to bring them to Jesus. Christians went the extra mile in doing so: First, they allowed Jews to live among them. Then, they allowed Jews to conduct whatever business they felt necessary. They even allowed Jews to have certain key, influential roles in society, such as tax-collecting and other services for whatever Royal happened to be ruling the territory at a given time. Such was the Christians' wholehearted commitment to the salvation of the Jews that at times they even went so far as to offer the Jews a tantalizing choice either to convert or be banished from their homes or, better yet, convert or be put to death. (Save your souls, and convert to Christianity, or die and lose your souls for all eternity. The logic of this philosophy escapes me.)
It was not only religious zeal that was the driving force behind such campaigns. As Jews rose to prominence within society, they were perceived as taking various high-ranking jobs not just for economic reasons but also to exert influence upon the leadership. Since Christians were well-aware of the Jews' propensity for evil machinations, this must have seemed to be a legitimate concern. In fact, such was the deceptiveness of the Jewish people that, even after their conversions to Christianity, suspicions arose that the Jews had done so disingenuously, and that in fact they were still practicing Judaism in secret.
Although it will undoubtedly be controversial, I must pause briefly and mention the Jews' own contribution to the environment. Not all Jews, to be certain, but some played into the widespread hysteria because of their own fears. While Christians were jealous and financially fearful of having Jews in certain key positions in their communities, some Jews developed their own suspicions and jealousies. There was also the inevitable resentment of some of the converts, with said converts being considered traitors to Judaism and thus to HaShem (God). Once again, fear is at the forefront because, as more and more Jews picked Christianity over exile and/or death, the real possibility that Judaism would become extinct horrified those Jews who held steadfastly to their faith.
Against this backdrop, it is not hard to see how one person, or at least a handful of persons, were easily able to light a solitary match and set off an inferno, one after the other, in city after city, for century after century. One hate-filled speech to the masses, giving voice to deep-seeded fears. One edict denouncing the various crimes Jews were alleged to have committed or were suspected of committing. In such an emotionally-charged environment incitement, under the guise of freedom of speech, has deadly consequences.
So, what has any of this to do with my study of the Islamic State? Everything. The setting is different, but the situation is the same. Certainly, at this time no one is forcing Jews to convert to Christianity nor to any other religious or political ideology under threat of death. That honor currently goes to Christians, Yazidis, and Kurds who are undergoing such torment, although the Jewish people are definitely on the future agenda. The Black Plague is gone, and no one is worried about Jews pretending to convert with the surreptitious goal of infiltrating a given church and destroying it from within. No, the allegations are indeed different. To be sure, to hear some tell the story Jews currently own the media and the banks, they run various governments (not this current American administration!), and that dreaded Zionist conspiracy looms largely on the horizon. Then of course there is Israel's genocidal behavior towards the "Palestinians", and their unquenchable drive to acquire all of the land in the Middle East. Thankfully, this generation of Jews is not very adept at such things; the "Palestinians" still exist, and in 66 years Israel has only succeeded in acquiring a land mass the size of New Jersey, but one never knows what such a diabolical group of people might accomplish if left unchecked. 
But, the accelerant I mentioned in a previous post still exists. Jews are still "Christ-killers", the theory of the matzos is still being propagated, and the various slanders of which Goebbels would be proud are still alive and well; i.e., Jews having infiltrated every conceivable position of power in the world with the ultimate goal of dominating the entire population of seven billion people. The anti-Jew environment is ripe for yet another attempt to wipe Israel off the map, and it is imperative that we all rise up against this very real threat before it is too late.

Thanksgiving: A Lesson in Gratitude

I found myself becoming irritated yesterday as I watched people I know on social media talking about the various plans they had for today. ...